Title: Sport 19

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 19: Lightworks

Jenny Powell-Chalmers

Jenny Powell-Chalmers

page 178

Celia's Dolls

The dolls are in pieces
resting and floating in the short
Their smooth bodies
are quiet and comfortable
in the soft sea swell.
Mary's torso drifts to the bend
while Elizabeth suns herself
in the shallows.
Wendy is trying to swim
arm over arm, to reach
the metal ring. Hilary's curls
flatten to a soggy tangle.
She is tired and waits in the water
for Celia. They are all
waiting for Celia.

Celia's Sister

Her sister shivers.
It is nothing the rough
overcoat can help with.
In fact the collar
is rubbing the back of her neck
leaving a slight rash.
The sleeves overlapping
her shaking hands
page 179 hang like sacks. They will hurt
the skin of her fingers,
but the barbed wire crown
does not cut or gouge
and the halo light has numbed
her head, has made Celia's sister
forget who she is.

Saint Celia

She is momentarily trapped
in concrete corners
at the bottom of the steps
and the wall and the hall;
she is triangularly stuck.
Soft shaven head
wedged in an ending gap,
arms invisibly nailed
in sharp angles.

She waits without panic,
captures the sky
in her eyes, smiles
at passing sparrows,
knowing all along that the rain
will gather and lift her,
drift her around the corner
where she will walk
on water.

page 180

Spare Parts for Celia

They are kind to her,
these plastic dolls
hanging around in the rain,
getting their hair all slippery
and spiky.
When the wind surges
through the gaps
where their torso and limbs join,
or where their heads
swivel on thin necks,
they really wish they could wear
the wedding dresses
and party frocks they came in.
But they never say, never
cause trouble.

There is even a spare head
holding its breath,
and a perfect leg
resting, waiting for Celia
to slot them in
to her own body.